By Paul Hines
MT. VERNON —
At least five Rams wrestlers will hit the mats today and Saturday, trying to qualify for the state finals.
Mt. Vernon starts the Chatham Glenwood sectional with three regional champions and a pair of third-place finishers. Kalen Roberts is also making the trip as an alternate.
“Still (this week) it's pretty hands-on,” Mt. Vernon coach Sean Docherty said of the preparation for sectional. “A lot of it's fine tuning stuff, getting the weaknesses that they've got getting those taken care of, emphasizing their strengths.”
Quentin Favors (120 pounds), Chase Vosburgh (195) and Tristan Penrod (220) all won regional titles in their weight classes last weekend at Centralia.
Alex Hopkins (195) and Josiah Fitzgerrells (113) both staved off elimination at the regional level with third-place victories.
In the sectional round, Mt. Vernon wrestlers will need to finish in the top four to qualify for state. Vosburgh, a junior, made a state final appearance last season and finished fifth overall in 2A. A pair of wins in the sectional would give him 40 for the season. He has already eclipsed 100 in his career.
Docherty said the group has been working diligently, and he's been aiming to fine tune their skills this week in practice.
He added that Thursday on the eve of the sectional there is a little lighter nature to the practice. The team wants to avoid any injuries prior to the event while remaining focused and ready.
“You kind of throttle back practices just a little bit just to keep their legs fresh, but then you have to walk that fine line of keeping them in tune and keeping them in shape and keeping them focused on what they're doing,” Docherty said.
As an alternate, Favors would compete if an injury, illness occurred to another sectional-qualifying wrestler in the 106 pound weight class. He would also compete if a wrestler missed his weight.
“He's got to prepare like he's going on the mat because you never know,” Docherty said.
Friday's action starts with the opening rounds at 5 p.m. Saturday's wrestling begins in the morning around 9 a.m.